Sanitary clamps are an integral part of your hygienic processing system. As they are the component that is most likely to be disassembled and reassembled during maintenance works, they are often the component that is most likely to undergo a continued schedule of cleaning cycles. It is very important to ensure that you follow the recommended cleaning procedures to maintain a sanitary environment.
Clamps in use
A standard clamp may contain as many as nine component parts. All of these parts are designed to function in a variety of conditions. The interaction between the component parts is affected by the ingress of dirt, the crystallization of cleaning products and the wearing of components. Material is worn away during on/off cycles. If this is not cleaned correctly, it will increase the chances of galling – see diagram.
Source: ACL Anti-Galling Clamps
Our sanitary clamps at ACL are produced from high quality stainless steels (316 / 304). This family of steels are mostly unaffected by the widely used cleaning products in the hygienic processing industry. However, there is some controversy surrounding the correct cleaning procedure for these clamps.
The first, and most important rule, is to remove the nut from the eyebolt. The parts should be washed independently of each other to ensure any particulates, dirt, or cleaning products are not able to continue to contaminate the threads.
The cleaning of the clamps should always be carried out in line with your facility's standard operating procedure. The below is a general guide you can use when cleaning an ACL SH Clamp, meant as a reference for your convenience:
1. Remove the nut from the eyebolt.
2. Wipe with Spor-Klenz saturated lint-free wipes.
3. Wipe with 70% IPA saturated lint-free wipes.
4. Wash using CIP COSA 72 (acid) and CIP COSA 95 (caustic).
After the clamps have been cleaned, they should be visually inspected. You should pay special attention to the threads, inspecting carefully for the following:
• Are the threads clean and free of debris?
• Do they have any cleaning residue?
• Are they damaged?
If the answer is ‘yes’ to any of these questions, they should be re-cleaned with rinsing being a priority.